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THIS!!!!!  Did you miss my Facebook Live video about my favorite SAFE self tanners? Well just in case you did, I'm giving it a "take two" here on the blog.  You guys know me as that plant lovin, chemical hatin natural chick, BUT did you REALLY know that I am just as passionate and vigilante about what I put ON my body as what I eat? Did you know we absorb 60 - 70% of what we put on our skin right into our bloodstream?  And that some areas of our body are an astounding 100%?  I have been on a mission over the last couple of years to eliminate chemicals from my personal care regimen and household entirely.  The negative effects of this long list of chemicals is way more lengthy than the list of chemicals themselves! Ugggghhhhh - and so unnecessary as well -  as you can see - as I read over the ingredients in the video.  Let's hear it for the good ole radish! Some things have been more difficult to replace than others for sure.  Replacing the self tanner was tricky....we all know the perils of a BAD one.   The two I have settled on leave a beautiful color that I get so many compliments on.  Every. Single. Time.  Both of them are SO easy to apply. They are not overly drying, and do not have that awful offensive odor like virtually every other one I tried.  (one smells a little minty to me, and the other like almonds and coconuts YUM)  I use the My Skin's Friend spray for my face and hard to reach areas. I spray a good amount on, but no so much that it will run, and I don't rub it in. Sometimes I will use two layers depending on the amount of color that I want.   I use Beauty by Earth for the body.  I do one layer one day, and if I want more color do another layer the next.  I have included a link for purchase through Life With Nikki. I'm so pleased to share these with you, and I'm confident that you will love them just as much as I do.  Now - safely go get your tan on gorgeous girl!!!! xoxo



video







Chia Pudding With Blueberries And Granola

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This is one of my favorite things to make and keep on hand for breakfast and snacks. The pudding has such a nice flavor - sweet- but not too sweet.  And this is so easy to make it's almost ridiculous!  This is definitely a recipe that works well with kids! Let them make their own.  Assemble some different ready to add fruits for them to choose from, and get some cute labels they can write their name on for storing in the refrigerator.

I ALWAYS store my parfaits in glass jars.  The glass jars make it so easy to grab and go, whether it's in the car, working at your desk, or just walking outside for a minute.  It's much easier than a big bowl or one of those plastic containers.  Not to mention it's better for the environment and Y O U!



Use any granola you like, and get creative with the fruit.  You can use anything.  If you follow me, you know by now I usually don't have a shopping list.  I buy what looks good and fresh.  I do love following a new recipe, BUT shopping intuitively is my favorite. It's exciting to see what you end up with, and it's fun figuring out what you are going to make with it!  Honestly some of my home run best recipes have come about this way.   The recipe calls for 2 - 4 dates.  Personally I believe 4 is too sweet, but you decide what you like best.  And you do not have to soak the dates. The pudding is delicious, and the texture is great either way.  Try both.

Have F U N making these, and share your fruit combinations and pictures with me! About the only thing I don't care for IN the parfait is banana because it turns brown and doesn't hold up well. However, I love slicing banana on top with a sprinkle of cacao nibs, unsweetened & unsulfured coconut, or toasted nuts.  A drizzle of blackstrap molasses for some extra iron for us Plant Based babies is a G O O D thing too.  Enjoy! xoxo

What You Need:

  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk (full fat in a can)
  • 1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
  • 2 - 4 Medjool Dates, Soaked & Pitted
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • Granola & Blueberries For Layering


How To Prepare:

Step 1:  Combine everything in a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth.

Step 2:  Pour a layer of the pudding, followed by a layer of granola, followed by a layer of blueberries, and repeat until the jar is full. Saving room for finishing with the blueberries.  Makes 2 servings and stores well in the refrigerator.








Vegan Fruit Tarts (Gluten Free & Raw)

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VEGAN FRUIT TARTS

(Makes 3 - 4 Tarts)



This is one of my absolute favorite recipes!!!  It's so easy and versatile, yet makes a beautiful presentation for guests.  What I really love is that kids have a blast making these.  You can use any kind of fruit you want for the topping, so let everyone choose.  I like something that's a little tart to contrast with the sweet banana and chia filling.  Just use the same measurements, or make more and use the leftovers for lunch boxes or to snack on during the day. Allow them to choose their "sprinkles", either chia seeds, hemp seeds, or chopped nuts.  Or let them use all of them, why not?  It's all healthy raw foods, and so good for them!  Have fun, and let me know what you put together.  This is the basic recipe, adapt and make it your own.  Enjoy. xoxoxo

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried figs
  • 1/2 cup nuts (almonds or pecans - for more flavorful nuts, toast in a 350 degree oven approximately 5 minutes, or until fragrant)  Be mindful not to over cook!  If you want a totally raw recipe, do not toast the nuts.
  • 1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
(The crust mixture freezes well).

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1-2 mashed bananas
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds 

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 3/4 cup chopped strawberries
  • 3/4 cup chopped kiwi
  • 3/4 cup chopped madarin oranges
  • chia seeds, hemp seeds, chopped nuts for "sprinkles"

How to prepare the tarts

TO MAKE THE CRUST:

  1. Put all the ingredients in your food processor and pulse until everything is in small pieces that stick together and pulls away from the sides of the processor.  Press into your tart dishes.

TO MAKE THE FILLING:

  1. Mash the chia seeds into the bananas with a fork.

    TO ASSEMBLE:

  1. Spread the banana chia mix into the crusts and then top with your fruit.


Spring Rolls With Peanut Lime Dipping Sauce

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Vegetable Spring Rolls

For the filling:
  • Spring Roll Wrappers  (8-10) - picture below
  • 1/2 English cucumber
  • 2 medium peeled carrots
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup purple cabbage
  • 3-4 lettuce leaves
  • 1 larger avocado, peeled and cut into strips
  • Herbamare or Pink Himalayan sea salt, to season (optional)

Peanut Sauce With Lime:
  • 1/4 cup natural roasted peanut butter
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2-1 tbsp peeled & chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp low sodium tamari (low sodium soy sauce will work as well)
  • 1 - 2 tsp raw local honey
  • 1-3 tsp water, for thinning as needed

1. For the filling: Slice the vegetables into long thin strips (julienne). 
2. For the sauce: In a small food processor, process the sauce ingredients until smooth. Adjust the taste to your liking. You may prefer more or less honey, the tamari, oil, or the lime juice. You can also mince everything by hand and use a small whisk.
3. Organize your roll making station and gather all of your ingredients in one area. Place a dish/tea towel on the counter and fill a large bowl with hot water. Dip a rice paper wrapper into the water, handling it gently until it gets soft. Usually about 10 seconds, or until soft, and remove from water carefully. Place it onto the towel and unfold any corners that may have rolled up.
4. Add the filling ingredients in the center of the wrapper. Start with the lettuce. (If you overfill the wrappers they may tear). Sprinkle with Herbamare or Pink Himalayan sea salt. (optional)
5. Roll the two sides of the rice wrapper inward and then flip the bottom over top the filling and roll forward. Place the roll on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Repeat until you are out of goodies.

6. Serve the rolls immediately with the peanut dipping sauce. If you have any leftover vegetables you can use them for dipping in the sauce. The sauce will keep for at least a week in a sealed container in the fridge. (I use a small mason jar). The rolls will keep for 1-2 days in the fridge. I find it's best to store in a plastic bag with a very lightly damp paper towel over them or in the bag.
P.S. Instead of the rice paper, you can also wrap in lettuce.

My favorite Happy Healthy Living tips!

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1. Drink pure, yummy, purified water. A lot of it. It's life.
2. Eliminate processed foods. Learn to love everything about REAL food. The food that was perfectly designed and created to nourish us - and that we were perfectly designed and created to THRIVE on.
3. Move. Walk, run, bike, jump, skip, climb trees, lift weights. Make time to move.
4. Go OUTside and dial it IN. Soak up nature. Talk to God. Get your bare feet in the grass, sand, or dirt. Step away from electronics and get GROUNDED.


5. Laugh. Laugh as much, and as often as you can. Just LAUGH.


6. Be relational. Pour into the relationships that feed your soul. Lean on people and allow them to lean on you. We were designed for this.
7. Let go of perfection. Give yourself the love and grace you so freely give to others.

LOVE YOURSELF - EMBRACE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE!



Comfort Food Fix With Heirloom Beans (With Smoked Sea Salt)

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I don't know about you guys, but I grew up in the country, and beans, - especially pinto beans - were a staple.  All this girl needed was pinto beans, mashed potatoes, sliced tomatoes, and a green onion from the garden and DONE!  STILL, beans like these heirloom beans, and pinto beans are one of my favorite foods.  They just bring those sweet, family time, fresh from the garden, home town feels.  

MY FAVORITE BRAND



Hurst's brand with the smoked sea salt is one of my favorite brands to buy in the store.  I find these at my local Publix.  The smoked sea salt is such a nice touch!  I cook my beans in organic vegetable broth, (a little drizzle of a nice olive oil wouldn't hurt either), and just add the salt to taste when they are done cooking.  Whatever salt is left over, just enjoy on something else.  Nothing else is needed!


WHY I EAT THEM?


Beans are an excellent source of vegetable protein, dietary fiber, and complex carbohydrates. The heirloom beans up the ante a bit when it comes to nutritional makeup and flavor! They are a little harder to find, and once you do, you might pay a little bit more. I enjoy adding them into the mix every now and then. Let me know if you try them!

Detox Drink - Boost Your Metabolism And Immunity

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This is a beautiful detox drink and liver flush to start your day!  It contains the benefits of the almighty lemon, along with the apple cider vinegar powerhouse.  Apple cider vinegar is full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes in their raw form.  All of that goodness accelerates your metabolism.  It is one of the best ways to cleanse the body and kill bacteria.  I cured my outdoor kitty's conjunctivitis with apple cider vinegar just last week.  That's another post :-).  Apple Cider Vinegar aids in digestion and cleaning of the intestines, killing off bacteria all the while it travels through your system.  A detox drink like this one can give your body a boost of  immunity while you’re including many wholesome nutrients and minerals in your routine.  Potassium is the main power punch in ACV, toxic poisons are placed in isolation, so that they can be flushed out of the body. Also, apple cider vinegar is an organic antibiotic that backs up your immune system to combat any foreign germs, bacteria and help ward off viruses that you may encounter.  And we all know that happens!  Raw honey adds extra antioxidants and helps to improve your immune system.  Not to mention how great raw - LOCAL to you - honey is for seasonal allergies.  Cinnamon helps balance your blood sugar, and fights cravings.  The lemon juice helps rehydrate you, rejuvenates your skin, and aids in healing.  The cayenne is great for blood flow, eases migraines, anti-fungal, helps relieve joint and nerve pain, and also boosts metabolism!  I like to mix all of the ingredients in a small mason jar so I can shake it really well to blend the ingredients.  If you don't want to hop up every morning and make it, then make a large batch and store in the refrigerator. 

Apple Cider Vinegar Detox & Liver Flush
2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (w/the mother)
2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice 
1 tbsp Organic Raw Honey
Dusting or up to 1 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon (stubborn to mix, work your way up to 1 tsp)
Dusting of Cayenne (optional)
8 oz purified water




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THIS!!!!!  Did you miss my Facebook Live video about my favorite SAFE self tanners? Well just in case you did, I'm giving it a &...